Union City residents push back against proposed dispensary in residential area

Some residents in Union City are pushing back against a proposed marijuana dispensary site they say will be too close to a residential area. The mayor says the council plans to discuss the dispensary's location at Tuesday night’s meeting.

"It’s not fitting for that to be here based on what we’ve seen happen at other dispensaries in other areas. Just locate it in a more industrial area," said Delila Flint, of Fremont. 

In Union City and nearby Fremont, some residents say they don’t want a new marijuana dispensary operating so close to where people live. Bruce Gill says he lives just a few blocks away from the proposed dispensary site and across from Learn and Play Montessori School on Alvarado-Niles Road.

"We don’t want to preach that or have an environment for the kids growing up to see availability or just inoculate them right off the bat," said Gill. 

Embarc California Cannabis Dispensaries operates over a dozen shops throughout the state and is petitioning Union City to open the new store. The proposed location used to be an auto shop and sits on an industrial lot, but residents like Michael Garcia say they have concerns about additional traffic and potential crime in a residential area.

"It was like two groups. They started off at Lemonade, broke in there. Then they went to Flor, crashed in and the police had to come back out. It’s just crazy! We just don’t need anything like this," said Garcia. 

Garcia says he's helping to gather signatures for a petition. Last November on the same night, three teenagers were also arrested for attempting to rob the only two Union City dispensaries, Lemonade and Flor. Both are in commercial areas.

"We just told our city, enough is enough. You’ve got two (dispensaries). Let’s stay with that," said Gilbert Gonsalves, of Union City. 

A Flor customer who didn't want to be identified told KTVU that she’d prefer to have a dispensary located on Alvarado-Niles Road because it’s closer to her home, but she still had concerns about it being located near schools. 

KTVU reached out to Embarc Dispensaries for comment but has yet to hear back.